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See you in the spring!


The Fall 2021 semester is coming to an end, and after months of writing articles, The Cuestonian will be taking a break over the winter.

This fall semester student journalists continued working online to bring you relevant news despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even with The Cuestonian newsroom fully being online, and an entirely new staff, there was an influx of news stories published throughout the semester.

Advisor Cyrus Saatsaz led The Cuestonian through it’s fourth semester online with ease, and will continue to do so in the upcoming Spring 2022 semester. As an award winning journalist, and a former reporter for The Cuestonian himself, he is a wealth of knowledge for the newsroom here at Cuesta. Saatsaz provides a real world perspective for prospective students looking to jump into the journalism world, and his experience allows him to help them develop the skills they need to achieve professional success..

The sole Editor-in-Chief of The Cuestonian, Aubrie Arndt, worked diligently to edit stories while helping student’s meet deadlines for publishing. She consistently made the effort to guide the entire newsroom of all new editors, answered any questions they had, and helped them grasp writing in AP style. Arndt led the class to the best of her ability through the screen, and gained valuable experience that will significantly improve her writing capabilities. This was her last semester with The Cuestonian, but she hopes to continue her journalism career in new settings.

The Managing Editor, Daniel Burg, was the only other veteran student to join The Cuestonian’s staff this semester, and he made quite the jump from his previous reporter position. Burg attended Cuesta College board meetings to help bring relevant article ideas to the publication, and made an effort to write stories regarding the campus. He also created videos for the Cougar Comments section that were a great showcase of his video editing skills and ability to take initiative. Burg looks forward to coming back as an Editor-in-Chief in the Spring 2022 semester.

Social Media editor Kenzie Johnson stepped into the role when the publication needed her most. Johnson kept all social media accounts updated for The Cuestonian including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She interacted with readers which was vital for creating a connection with the community. Johnson was able to write an article regarding mental health that would be beneficial to students especially during the pandemic. Johnson hopes to come back next spring with hopes of adding more by-lines to her portfolio.

Features Editor Sheyda Ladjevardi brought their previous journalism skills from their time working on their high school newspaper to The Cuestonian this semester. Despite being a new editor here, she took on major stories surrounding college enrollment rates and why they plummeted during the pandemic. They’re a budding student journalist who hopefully has many more stories under their belt for future publication.

Opinion Editor Jennaca Ortiz took a stand this semester, and used her voice to talk about recent sexual assaults on Cal Poly’s campus. She tackled a difficult story on an emotional level with tact, and stuck true to her own values in her writing.

Arts & Entertainment Editor Adam Schooley spent the semester focusing on Cuesta art exhibitions such as “We Are Here,” and the student photography contest. He wielded his technical skills and helped fellow Managing Editor, Daniel Burg, with video production for Cougar Comments. He even brought along his love for film, and shared all about those that had been shot around SLO county.

Layout/Graphics Editor Skye Bettencourt helped modernize and update a variety of logos and advertorials for The Cuestonian this semester. Her graphic design skills allowed The Cuestonian to create a cohesive look throughout the website as well as on social media platforms. We hope Bettencourt comes back in the spring semester and delves deeper into her role.

Food Editor Andrea Bateman wrote numerous articles about the health and well-being behind things such as food safety and drinking clean water. She even tackled budgeting meals for students, and what kind of aid was available for students who may be struggling with food security. Bateman has a passion for how food and health correlate, and we hope she comes back to write more articles next semester.

Automotive Trends Editor Nick Stavros brought some newer topics to The Cuestonian this semester by covering local car meets and bringing his own knowledge to his articles. Stavros helped broaden interests at the publication this semester, and we hope he comes back in the spring.

Sports Editor Martin Pacino covered more than sports this semester as he helped Managing Editor Daniel Burg with covering the loss of a Cuesta College student. Pacino plans to attend Umpire School in the spring in hopes of umpiring at Major League games in the future.

Next semester will possibly be the last time The Cuestonian will work completely online, but even then the newsroom is looking forward to coming back with more breaking news to share.

Until then have a safe winter break and enjoy your time off, and we’ll be ecstatic to see what we share here with you when we get back Cuesta Cougars!

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Aubrie Arndt is currently a journalism student at Cuesta college, and is taking on the role as Editor-in-Chief here at The Cuestonian this semester. Originally from San Diego, she only moved to San Luis Obispo a little over two years ago after going through a major life change. She didn't decide to go back to school until the semester that COVID-19 broke out, and although challenging it is a decision she's glad she stuck with. Throughout her time at Cuesta she has been on the school newspaper multiple semesters, and taken a variety of photography classes. Outside of the classroom she dabbles with film photography, and recently even started selling prints of her work online. She also wrote for her own blog for several years and is bringing it back this Fall as a healthy outlet for her to share some of her passions, and has even had a bit of poetry published on online magazines. With a past in working with social media, marketing, and branding she's hoping to start putting out freelance work for a variety of publications this coming year. There are many things she'd like to accomplish in the next year, and is hopeful she will also be able to relocate to the Bay Area for school depending on how the pandemic evolves. Until then you can find her sharing her work online, out on solo road trips in her native state, taking photos with her favorite film cameras in tow, or hiding out at home watching films with her two feline companions.